Re: Skilled helmsman steering downwind in 30-40 knots...
I have been in similar conditions. Open Ocean. Winds 30 , gusting 35. 12-15 foot seas. Broad reaching. It is a heck of a lot of work. I like a heavily reefed main up as you can then sail by the clew of the jib. I do use a preventer; it get rigged early and stays rigged. When the clew starts to drop, head up a little. What you really want to avoid is a round-up which will result is a slam. I was below on one which result in water coming in through a cabin top hatch - new rules- ALL hatches close and all drivers stand.
My avatar is from that trip.
I was in another round up on a broad reach in smaller seas than catapulted a crew member from the galley to the chart table.
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Last edited by jackdale; 04-19-2013 at 11:25 PM.